Relief efforts continued in Kerch, Anapa, Temryuk and on the Taman Peninsula that were hit by a downpour on August 12-13. Emergency services are clearing streets of silt, debris and sand repairing flooded roads and building detours in some places.
Disaster assistance involves the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM), the National Guard (Rosgvardiya) and the army of the Defense Ministry which work together with the utility service providers. The worst-hit city of Kerch recorded 83 mm of precipitation in 12 hours that amounts to almost a two-month norm, Vesti.ru reported. Rosgvardiya helped evacuate people from the flooded areas including central streets with yards, canning plant premises and the wholesale and retail market. Rescuers were pumping out water the adjacent areas throughout the night.
Churning water flows partly washed away the Central beach in Anapa. Sun loungers and changing stalls were swept out to sea. The authorities restricted traffic on the Novorossiysk-Kerch federal road near the city and the partly flooded Tavrida highway. A destructive cyclone hit the Azov coast.
Household plots were inundated in Temryuk, Golubitskaya village and Yeisk. A tornado reached the landmass in the Lazarevskoye settlement area. Krasnodar Territory governor Veniamin Kondratiyev said “the annual norm of precipitation” hit Anapa and Temryuk within a day. Anapa mayor Vasily Shvets reportedly said that “not a single waterlogged house would be left unattended.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a video conference on August 15 over the situation in the flooded Crimea and Krasnodar Territory, and in Yakutia which is battling wildfires. According to media reports, Crimea Head Sergei Aksyonov when asked by the President whether he had been to Kerch, said that he was “waist-deep in water” right at the moment. Aksyonov also told Putin that “the situation with new floods in Kerch and the Leninsky district was getting out of control.” He arrived in Kerch to assess the situation, inspected the city, and personally gave disaster recovery orders.
Regional governors reported on their relief efforts and asked Vladimir Putin for help. In response, the Russian President said that he would immediately issue instructions to the appropriate ministries and sign the necessary decrees. Putin requested to pay special attention to disaster victims who must be resettled in safe places and provided with housing if necessary.
As of 15 August, 542 households and 1,500 yards were flooded, RIA Novosti Crimea reported. Krasnodar Territory authorities reported that 1,531 people, including 991 children, had been evacuated from the danger zones. Eleven temporary accommodation centers have been deployed in the Temryuksky and Slavyansky districts in Anapa. In the Krasnodar Territory, a total of 76 centers have been prepared to accommodate over 15,000 people affected by the disaster.
Nasty weather is keeping everybody busy. The Black Sea mesocyclone continues to destroy everything on its way, moving towards the north of the Krasnodar Territory.
It is not just buildings that are being attacked by the raging elements. It is a real test for stamina, endurance and team spirit for the emergency services and residents. Meanwhile, in the evening of August 15, Crimea’s EMERCOM issued a storm warning. Thunderstorms, hail and gale force winds were expected in Kerch at night and in the morning of August 16.
The EMERCOM said that there was “a high probability of flooding” urging residents and guests of the eastern regions of Crimea to observe safety precautions and keep away from the Black Sea, Azov Sea, embankments, and highland and forest areas. Public utilities were advised to pay special attention to drainage systems.
A storm alert remained in effect in these regions on August 16. Weather forecasters compared the downpours to the “Genesis Flood” as some towns and villages resemble the mysterious sunken Atlantis. The authorities are dealing with the aftermath of the disaster. All the services are working in emergency mode. Forecasts say that the weather will improve in the coming days.